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3 Share Nobel Prize In Medicine For Immune System Work

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the good-doctors dept.

Medicine 75

alphadogg writes "This year's Nobel Laureates have revolutionized our understanding of the immune system by discovering key principles for its activation. Scientists have long been searching for the gatekeepers of the immune response by which man and other animals defend themselves against attack by bacteria and other microorganisms. Bruce Beutler and Jules Hoffmann discovered receptor proteins that can recognize such microorganisms and activate innate immunity, the first step in the body's immune response. Ralph Steinman discovered the dendritic cells of the immune system and their unique capacity to activate and regulate adaptive immunity, the later stage of the immune response during which microorganisms are cleared from the body."

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Poofreading (1)

Bongoots (795869) | more than 2 years ago | (#37588670)

Medine..?

Nice to know that the editors are doing their job.

Re:Poofreading (-1, Offtopic)

bongoots21 (998843) | more than 2 years ago | (#37588774)

Hey bro :-)

Hmmmmm.... (2)

MDillenbeck (1739920) | more than 2 years ago | (#37588722)

Makes me wonder - would they ever give the protein folding gamers a Nobel prize? Probably not - but they did make a significant contribution to science. Then again, maybe award it to the project to help it fund further crowd-sourced applications.

Re:Hmmmmm.... (4, Informative)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#37588808)

would they ever give the protein folding gamers a Nobel prize? Probably not - but they did make a significant contribution to science.

As far as I know they have not awarded a hard science prize merely for being donors. Otherwise I'm sure over the past century or two the humble lab rat would have earned a prize by now.

Also engineering achievements, at least solely with respect to being an engineering achievement, never win a prize.

For example, the politicians who paid for CERN have never won a prize (at least not for donating CERN funds). The engineers who design particle detectors never win a prize (design as in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, civil engineering, not design as in basic concept of operation). However the '92 physics prize was awarded to the inventor of the multiwire proportional chamber (a gross simplification is its kinda like a 3-d geiger counter instead of being a 0-d scalar detector, sorta)

Re:Hmmmmm.... (1)

Trubadidudei (1404187) | more than 2 years ago | (#37588930)

The Foldit gamers weren't "merely" donors. They made an actual discovery.
They looked at the shape of a protein, thought, discussed and experimented in how they could fold it properly, and in the end they found a novel solution to a problem that hadn't been solved before.
That is not "donation", that is a scientific discovery.

Re:Hmmmmm.... (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#37588964)

Hmmm maybe the best /. car analogy I can make is the guy who invented the idea of a turbocharger is gonna win the prize, not the guy who plugged numbers into predetermined equations and made this specific individual turbo.

A more scientific analogy is the guy who donates his stellar light magnitude measurements to the AAVSO is not gonna win the prize, even if an astrophysicist analyzes the donor's data and writes a very important variable star paper that depended on those measurements.

Re:Hmmmmm.... (2)

Trubadidudei (1404187) | more than 2 years ago | (#37592248)

You're still missing the point.
Your second analogy actually describes the foldit situation perfectly, just that its the other way around. It would be more fitting to describe the foldit gamers as the astrophysicists who analyses data and makes a discovery. To go through the analogy step by step, the magnitude measurements would in this case be the foldit program itself and the data about the protein in question that was known in beforehand. The gamers use of a program is not analogous to them using a measuring tool to gather data, as the data they produced was completely new and originated only from their own minds. They did not just plug something into an equation and noted down the results, they had a set of data and measurements, looked long and hard at them, and then came up with a completely new equation to describe the relationship between the ones they already had.

I'm not saying they deserve a noble prize, personally I wouldn't say that their discovery is significant enough in it's own right to go that far, but they do deserve the recognition of their work as more than just an application of principles that were known in beforehand, as the inclusion of their names in the publicised scientific paper suggests.

By the way, just to be sure, you do know that the "foldit gamers" are not the same people driving the folding@home distributed computing project right? You do know what the foldit game is and what you do in it? It would be unfortunate if we would continue this discussion just to find out that we're talking about two different topics entirely.

Re:Hmmmmm.... (1)

LordNacho (1909280) | more than 2 years ago | (#37589044)

"Also engineering achievements, at least solely with respect to being an engineering achievement, never win a prize."

Surely true in general, but wasn't there a guy with the fiber optics who won it not long ago?

Re:Hmmmmm.... (1)

ABoerma (941672) | more than 2 years ago | (#37589214)

I would say that the invention of the sun valve (Gustaf Dalen, Nobel prize for physics in 1912) was a pure engineering achievement.

Re:Hmmmmm.... (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 2 years ago | (#37589442)

There are already a few more examples on the thread. Add there the scanning tunnel microscope. (Aren't there also other microscope and telescope inventions?)

If you don't consider your and those other examples engineering, what is it? In fact, lots physics nobels are over the very fuzzy line that separates science from engineering.

Re:Hmmmmm.... (1)

migloo (671559) | more than 2 years ago | (#37589668)

"Also engineering achievements, at least solely with respect to being an engineering achievement, never win a prize."
The 1979 Nobel prize in medicine was awarded for the development of "Computer Assisted Tomography".
This was an engineering achievement based on generous financing and on a previous major scientific achievement, the Fast Fourier Transformation, probably too mathematical to deserve a Nobel prize.
Additionally, the 2003 prize was [mis-]attributed for the [re-]discovery of MRI, another engineering achievement.

Re:Hmmmmm.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37590764)

Im sorry, politicians did not paid for CERN, they added it to the bill, the loans and taxes will be paid by the peasents.

Re:Hmmmmm.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37588884)

Do they give Nobel prizes to test tube manufacturers? Probably not - but they did make a significant contribution to science.

Re:Hmmmmm.... (1)

KliX (164895) | more than 2 years ago | (#37589936)

Dude, the protein folding gamers were a slightly better stochastic cog. Significant, not so much.

Re:Hmmmmm.... (1)

initialE (758110) | more than 2 years ago | (#37596560)

No, but whoever turned folding into a game should deserve honorable credit

Steinman is dead (4, Informative)

zakkie (170306) | more than 2 years ago | (#37588726)

AP says Steinman died September 30th (will get link after posting). Nobel prize not awarded posthumously, apparently.

Re:Steinman is dead (3, Informative)

zakkie (170306) | more than 2 years ago | (#37588734)

Here's a link: http://www.montrealgazette.com/technology/Late+Canadian+scientist+Ralph+Steinman+shares+Nobel+prize+medicine/5493302/story.html

Although it looks like the prize will remain awarded.

Re:Steinman is dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37588878)

Meh, I always thought that was a stupid rule anyway. There are plenty of dead scientists who deserve the Nobel Prize (Rosalind Franklin comes to mind). I can see them putting a limit on how long they've been dead (not much point in awarding Newton or Imhotep) but still...

Re:Steinman is dead (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 2 years ago | (#37589164)

It discourages procrastination on the part of the Nobel committee. If they want to award someone the prize, they have to award it while that person is still alive to receive it. I'm not sure of the official rationale though.

Re:Steinman is dead (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#37593848)

The prize is supposed to support and encourage further research, which is unlikely if the recipient is dead.

Re:Steinman is dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37594900)

I love that you don't completely rule it out. That's a scientific mind.

Re:Steinman is dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37590706)

According to Swedish media he will be awarded the prize even if the Nobel prize usually isn't awarded posthumously. The academy made the decision hours after Steinmans death without knowing about it.

Link to a translated article in one of the major newspapers in Sweden: http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=sv&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.svd.se%2Fnyheter%2Finrikes%2Fmedicinpristagare-avled-i-fredags_6521002.svd [google.com]

Re:Steinman is dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37589088)

At least he didn't die of Aids. Nothing worse than an ironic death.

Re: Steinman is dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37590952)

That's the difference between his death and the world knowing about it.

They gave the price to three living people, of which one apparently died in such a timeframe, that they announced the price, thinking he was alive, while he was indeed dead by that time.

cb

PS: I love these context sensitive captchas.

One prize, one person. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37588764)

A single person should win the nobel prize. They should not split it into multiple pieces, it cheapens it. What's next, 125 people share the Nobel prize? This is BS.

Re:One prize, one person. (3, Informative)

Co0Ps (1539395) | more than 2 years ago | (#37588778)

I think the limit is 3 persons. This is actually a problem as many scientific discoveries today are done in teams much larger than that.

Peace Prize (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | more than 2 years ago | (#37588948)

On the other hand, the peace prize can be given to hundards. (2007, Al Gore & the mbembers of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change)

Re:One prize, one person. (2)

LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) | more than 2 years ago | (#37588838)

In the very first year of the Nobel Prizes the Peace Prize was shared between two people. This is nothing new, and I've yet to find anyone drinking alone sobbing to themselves that their life is a failure because they had to share a Nobel Prize.

Re:One prize, one person. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37588874)

And you don't think that giving the prize to a single person when everyone knows that there are 124 other persons behind the research that didn't get the prize would cheapen it?
The nobel prize is prestigious because it historically have been rewarded to people who did great work. Things that cheapen it is if you reward it for political reasons. (That is why no-one is impressed by someone who got awarded the nobel peace prize, it is also one of the reasons that the academy awards are becoming less and less prestigious.)
Oh, wait, I thought that you meant TFA when you stated that it is BS, if you meant your own post then I agree completely and have nothing further to add.

Medine? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37588780)

Is this a new category for Nobel prizes?

No meaning AT ALL!! (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37588792)

The Nobel Prize has lost all meaning after they gave it to Obama the Nobel Prize in Peace, this worths less than nothing

Re:No meaning AT ALL!! (1)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 2 years ago | (#37588914)

Well, before Obama there was Arafat.

Re:No meaning AT ALL!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37589016)

Which shows that this doesn't mean anything anymore, i just mentioned Obama because is the last example of the "politics poisoning" of the prize

Re:No meaning AT ALL!! (1)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 2 years ago | (#37592592)

Hindsight shows some pretty bad choices for the Nobel Peace Prize. It shows some pretty good ones, too.

Bad choices didn't seem bad to the committee at the time. All choices are subject to controversy, almost by definition. The fact that the non-pacifist trajectory of a handful of recipients was not what the committee expected doesn't invalidate the real accomplishments of the rest.

And poor Peace Prize choices certainly don't cheapen an entirely different kind of prize (like, say, medicine) awarded by an entirely different kind of committee.

Re:No meaning AT ALL!! (1)

Shinobi (19308) | more than 2 years ago | (#37591188)

And before that there was Menachim "everything the palestinians learned about terrorism, they learned from me and my friends" Begin.

And before the apologists start, keep in mind that even many jews condemned Begin(and also Shamir, Stern etc)

Obama (1, Interesting)

EzInKy (115248) | more than 2 years ago | (#37588984)

Obama got the peace prize because his election held promise that American's were finally willing to accept that unAmericans were important too,

Re:Obama (2)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 2 years ago | (#37590264)

It was ridiculous three times over:

1. It was highly and obviously politically partisan.
2. It was speculative, fueled by hopes and fantasy rather than any results.
3. They were wrong.

It wasn't the only example, of course; the peace prize has been awarded for ludicrous reasons before. The Nobel's science prizes still have a pretty good reputation, though.

Re:No meaning AT ALL!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37591528)

The Nobel Peace Prize has been a sick joke ever since it was awarded to Henry Kissinger in 1973.

Dead laurete (3, Informative)

miowpurr (1004277) | more than 2 years ago | (#37588842)

Ralph Steinman has died, he might not be awarded the Nobel after all. http://newswire.rockefeller.edu/?page=engine&id=1192 [rockefeller.edu]

Re:Dead laurete (1)

Teun (17872) | more than 2 years ago | (#37589022)

Why not award it posthumous, it has been done before.

When? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37589200)

"Why not award it posthumous, it has been done before."

When was that done?!

Re:When? (1)

Teun (17872) | more than 2 years ago | (#37592606)

It was done before 1974 when a new rule banning posthumous awards was introduced.

In the mean time the Nobel comity has decided this price will be awarded as it was not planned to be posthumous.

Re:Dead laurete (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37589208)

Only if the receiver dies between announcement and ceremony. In all other cases, the deceased are excluded. This one is problematic, because he died before the announcement, but it was unknown to the committee...

Re:Dead laurete (2)

cdrudge (68377) | more than 2 years ago | (#37590206)

Because the rules say that it's no longer awarded posthumously, unless the winner died after it was announced. What's the point of having a rule if it is just ignored?

In this case, I think there is some gray area. The actual rule states

Work produced by a person since deceased shall not be considered for an award. If, however, a prizewinner dies before he has received the prize, then the prize may be presented.

Since he was alive while it was being considered, that portion has been met. When was it actually decided that it would be awarded to them? If they decided between September 30th and today, then he probably wouldn't have qualified. However they had decided earlier in September and just announced it today, which I would imagine probably was what happened, then I would say he would qualify without any special exception being made.

What will they do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37588852)

Given that the Nobel Prize is given out before any accomplishments nowadays, I'm excited to see what these researchers will produce now that they have their prize. Cure for cancer? Panacea? Perhaps they will discover perfect medical immortality! Damn, those are some exciting things they might do in the future - better give them the Peace Prize too, just in case!

Nobel Prize (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#37588876)

This is what Nobel prize should be about - not about politics and non-sciences, like Keynesian witch craft of one solution.

Giving a prize for figuring out how the immune system works? Good.

Giving out a 'war is peace' prize to Obama or 'print till you run out of trees' Krugman? Well, that's just a political statement and I am not sure what good it is at all.

Re:Nobel Prize (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#37588934)

I am not sure what good it is at all.

Some of the most important historical physics experiments were negative result or "failure". Michealson-Morley aether / speed of light interferometer which stubbornly refused to show light goes faster pointed ahead of earths orbit as compared to pointed behind earths orbit. The noise level in that giant microwave horn antenna is too blasted high to be useful for communications when pointed at the sky, celestial noise, WTF is it? I'm trying to think of some more good examples... Trying to detect high intensity infrared light (vs UV) using old fashioned photocathodes...

Re:Nobel Prize (2)

LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) | more than 2 years ago | (#37588946)

Uhh, nothing's changed. There are different categories for the Nobel Prizes: Physics, Chemistry, Medicine, Literature, Economics, and Peace.

The three science prizes will always be about science, and the others will always be contentious and to varying degrees political.

Re:Nobel Prize (3, Informative)

niklask (1073774) | more than 2 years ago | (#37589400)

Except that there is no Nobel Prize in Economics. The Economics prize is a prize given by the Swedish "Fed", Riksbanken on honor of Nobel.

Re:Nobel Prize (1)

LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) | more than 2 years ago | (#37591196)

And the Nobel Prize in Semantics goes to...

Re:Nobel Prize (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37589968)

There are no nobel prizes for Bungi Jumping, Astrology, Professional Wrestling or Economics.

Re:Nobel Prize (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37590858)

If it would be awarded to some libertarian idiot you would piss yourself for a year.

Re:Nobel Prize (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#37590964)

Like Hayek and Myrdal? There shouldn't be a Nobel prize of any kind at all for such a trivial non-science as economics.

Re:Nobel Prize (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37591074)

Yes. But why you insist on pissing on Slashdot crowd, you should pissing yourself. Oh, right, you already done that today.

Re:Nobel Prize (0)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#37591086)

You should go back to the grammar school, if even an English as a Fourth Language guy like me is cringing from reading your crap.

Re:Nobel Prize (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37591194)

Back to pissing - pissing yourself is not bad - every children did that.
Problem starts when you are an adult and you do it daily on public forum. Like you.

translation of the immunology work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37589102)

here's a lay translation of the work these men did on immunology. oooga booga moof moof moof, bajawigagawaaa. baga wooo. woo, moofa moofa, ooga moo woo wo baga. Baga wigamafa.

Importance of the Nobel Prize itself (1)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 2 years ago | (#37589252)

What is the importance of the Nobel Prize itself?

Yes, it is important to the winners. But, for the rest of the world? Does it give focus to something we need to recognize, also today, 110 year after the start?

I think it is still important, but sometimes you people complaining about it, which made me wonder.

What do you think?

Re:Importance of the Nobel Prize itself (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37590684)

Like any award it's recognition of achievements and by definition has to happen 'after the start'. We don't award runners gold medals before the race for the same reason.

Re:Importance of the Nobel Prize itself (1)

bjourne (1034822) | more than 2 years ago | (#37592756)

Are the Olympic Games important?

one of three Nobelprize winners has died recently (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37589346)

I've just learned that one of the three, Mr. Ralf Steinman, has died last Friday; ironically, he has died of cancer of the pancreas (not sure of my medical English, here) although his life had apparently been extended by a treatment based on his own research work. The committee is pondering what to do: the rules state that no-one can receive the Nobel prize posthumously, although an exception is made when a winner dies between the official announcement and the ceremony. Here, the winner has died just before the announcement...

posthumous nobel regulations (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37589868)

the regulations of the Nobel committee do NOT state that the prize can be awarded after the announcement. There is no mention whatsoever of an announcement in the regulations. They state, clearly, that the work of a dead scientist cannot be considered by the committee, implying the scientist has to be living while he is being considered. Unless a significant part of the "consideration" of the nobel committee was carried out during the weekend, Ralph should "keep" his prize. Given that Ralph had been a shoo-in for the prize for years already I'd say the committee did consider him enough while alive.

a grieving colleague of Ralph.

Re:posthumous nobel regulations (1)

howzit (1667699) | more than 2 years ago | (#37597138)

Hats of to the Commitee for deciding to grant Ralph Steinman the prize. The rule obviously exists to promote, award and acknowledge NEW research and all his research was 'up to date'. Literally. See: http://life.time.mk/read/bb9f5c9af7/abd2c5124a/index.html [life.time.mk]

I'm glad to see immunology getting more attention (3, Interesting)

wwphx (225607) | more than 2 years ago | (#37589938)

as I'm a person with such a disorder. Specifically, my body does not produce immuneglobin, which can make me very susceptible to disease. My triggering event was in 2009 when I had pneumonia four times in five months, fortunately I had no permanent lung damage as a result. I have to infuse immuneglobin into my abdomen weekly to stay reasonably healthy (four needles/90 minutes/twice a week, I recently did my 200th infusion).

For the most part, it's a life-long genetic condition, and we had indicators that I did get sick more often than most people, but it took this mini-crisis for me to get diagnosed and treated. There is no cure as of yet. My specific disorder is that my body's B cells do not produce immuneglobin in response to the presence of infection. They have successfully forced/tricked B cells to produce IG in a petri dish, but have not yet succeeded at that rat level.

Which brings us to the interesting part. I've heard a theory that immune system shut-down could actually be a form of defensive mechanism. For certain types of immunodeficiency they have successfully turned the immune system back on, but they've had a very high incidence of tumors later. So it's possible that an immune system clamps down and stops producing certain types of immuneglobin so that the body doesn't start producing cancer.

Interesting concept. They've also seen a reduction in certain cancer rates for people on immuneglobin therapy, and since I'll be doing this for the rest of my life, that's small compensation.

Treatment is expensive, it takes portions of 10,000 plasma donations to produce one treatment. That's a pretty scary scale to me.

Re:I'm glad to see immunology getting more attenti (1)

Jaqenn (996058) | more than 2 years ago | (#37592070)

I'm confused by the word 'portion' in that last sentence. Is it the variety that's really important, even if the portion of the donation is very small?

In other words, if you used each donation only for producing treatments, does mixing together 10,000 donations get you 10,000 treatments, or 5,000, or 5, or what?

Re:I'm glad to see immunology getting more attenti (2)

wwphx (225607) | more than 2 years ago | (#37593880)

Unfortunately I didn't attend the panel on how the product is made when I attended a conference earlier this year. It is my understanding that if you give a plasma donation or sell plasma, the immuneglobin (Ig) constitutes a fairly small amount as the plasma is filtered from your whole blood. The Ig has to be further processed through filtration, purification, inspection, concentration, etc., until it ends up in the bottle that I just finished infusing. I infuse 10 grams a week (50 ml), I have no idea how many grams of Ig are in a liter of plasma (typical amount of a donation/sale). The plasma is not used exclusively for treatments for conditions like mine, a lot of other treatments are derived from it.

The variety is important. Since I don't produce antibodies, I get them from donors through this donation/concentration process. I still get tetanus shots every decade or whatever and flu vaccines annually, but I can't do live vaccines like FluMist where they spray it up your nose, I'm also not supposed to be exposed to people who do live vaccines, which is a little tricky. There's a definite down-side to it: you can't run antibody tests on me because the results are unreliable since I'm receiving 10,000 people's antibodies. Earlier this year I was mildly sick for a few months and we thought it could be mono, but the conventional test for it is an Epstein-Barr test and the EBV is an antibody-based test, so the results were inconclusive and we shouldn't have wasted the money and resources on it.

I'll ask about the scale on an immunology board that I frequent, I might be able to get an answer there.

Re:I'm glad to see immunology getting more attenti (2)

wwphx (225607) | more than 2 years ago | (#37595540)

The answer that I got was that 10,000 plasma donations are pooled for one batch to get a good mix of antibodies. Each donation is less than a liter, though I didn't get an exact number, and one donation is 4 grams of IgG, so I personally need 10 donation equivalents per month (I receive 4 weeks of meds per shipment, so we call that a month). I don't think you can easily say that the average treatment is X grams per month as it varies wildly depending on the person's problems, treatment and body weight.

Posthumous Prizes (0)

persevero (1759722) | more than 2 years ago | (#37589982)

If they give Steinman his prize, might they give Rosalind Franklin hers? A longer period of deceasedness, I admit (okay, fifty-three years) but she damn well deserves one.

Being awarded for some fairly old work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37589992)

A lot of the work in innate immunity is pretty old. There are about 400 new studies a month published on VDR and innate immunity alone (for those not privy, VDR controls in large degree transcription of many of those toll like receptors that determine friend from foe in the innate immune system).

Sadly, even having worked on it, I was not aware of either the work of Hoffman, or Beutler in the field. Of course, there is a lot of stuff happening there, and its pretty much buried in the fog of so much work coming out. To the folks that mention folding at home ... None of the stuff I've worked on would be possible without protein folding, distributed computing aided sequencing, and programs like autodock that take away some of the tediousness of trying to find out if your ligand can really bind there, to what degree, and to aid in side effect prediction. The modern day pharmaceutical researcher cannot get by without having some pretty good computer skills, or hiring out for it, and very little of this type of research is happening in isolation because of it. Generally its teams of people making it happen, and a highly skilled IT component.

In the world of NDA's, I can't comment much more except to say I'm shocked they picked this work, and not some of the useful work that was developed independently, and has more immediate applications.

Re:Being awarded for some fairly old work. (1)

hawkeey (1920310) | more than 2 years ago | (#37590960)

These prizes have never been about those who come up with immediate applications. It has been for those who began the field as we know it today, whether they stumbled upon it or worked tirelessly towards it. The applications tend to be awarded in terms of their market profitability. The basic fundamental research rarely is awarded, and the Nobel Prize is an opportunity to recognize that work.

Alfred Nobel was fortunate enough to do the initial research on nitroglycerin and then turn that into a profitable product. In a way this is a model by which industry can give back to the basic research from which it sprang.

uncertainty of death? (1)

havardi (122062) | more than 2 years ago | (#37590304)

Perhaps Steinman wasn't certainly dead until the committee was informed of which world they were now in (the world where Steinman died on Friday), and therefore the normal rules of the award don't need to be broken to give him the prize. That is, when the committee made the announcement, Steinman was both dead and alive? I'm conflating theories, I know, but please understand I have no idea what I'm talking about.

Affiliation Tug-of-War (1)

hawkeey (1920310) | more than 2 years ago | (#37590848)

It is quite amusing how educational and research institutions try to immediately flaunt their affiliations with the Nobel Laureates. Bruce A. Beutler is a particularly intriguing case. The University of Chicago chalks this up as laureate number 86 as he attended medical school there. The Scripps Research Institute where he was a professor until recently is hailing him as their own. This is despite that as of Septermber 1, 2011, Prof. Beutler is now Director of the Center for the Genetics of Host Defense at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, where he was a medical resident and a professor from 1986 to 2000 (and began his nobel laureate work).

Nonetheless, congratulations to Dr. Bruce A. Beutler on his award, and all the institutions which fostered his career. Best wishes to him as he joins a growing cadre of formidable researchers in Texas (yes, the same Texas as GH Bush, GW Bush, and presidential candidate Rick Perry).

References
Shaw Prize Autobiography
http://www.shawprize.org/en/shaw.php?tmp=3&twoid=90&threeid=180&fourid=306&fiveid=153 [shawprize.org]

UT Southwestern Press Release
http://www.utsouthwestern.edu/utsw/cda/dept353744/files/654940.html [utsouthwestern.edu]
http://www.utsouthwestern.edu/utsw/cda/dept353744/files/638281.html [utsouthwestern.edu]

Scripps Research Institute Press Release
http://www.scripps.edu/news/press_releases/nobelprize.html [scripps.edu]

The University of Chicago front page (right side):
http://www.uchicago.edu/ [uchicago.edu]

Re:Affiliation Tug-of-War (1)

the gnat (153162) | more than 2 years ago | (#37592124)

It is quite amusing how educational and research institutions try to immediately flaunt their affiliations with the Nobel Laureates

Sometimes this gets downright embarrassing. Nearly a decade ago a former chemistry professor at the university where I worked won a Nobel, which the school lost no time in bragging about. What they didn't mention was that he was forced into mandatory retirement not long after he made the discovery for which the prize was awarded.

Commitee does the right thing! (1)

howzit (1667699) | more than 2 years ago | (#37597160)

Hats of to the Commitee for deciding to grant Ralph Steinman the prize. The rule obviously exists to promote, award and acknowledge NEW research and all his research was 'up to date'. Literally. See: http://life.time.mk/read/bb9f5c9af7/abd2c5124a/index.html [life.time.mk]

Three winners again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37610626)

It's getting to where they're basically just avoiding a first place Nobel prize and two runners-up Nobel prizes.

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